TD Digs Deep on Mining Deal

  • 14 Jan 2001
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Toronto-Dominion Bank is about to wrap syndication on its $250 million loan for Stillwater Mining, a syndication some officials familiar with it said was very slow. The lead agent has collected $155 million in commitments, which does not include TD's own hold of $40 million. "Single mine risks were the main reasons why people declined," said one banker on the deal, referring to inherent industry problems. James Sabala, cfo in Denver, would only say, "Syndication is proceeding accordingly. We expect to close the deal early during the quarter."

The new credit backs the mining company's expansion of a Montana mine and will also take out existing debt. Officials at former lead arrangers Bank of Nova Scotia, Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital did not return calls seeking comment. A TD official declined to comment. Stillwater is based in Denver.

Thomas Watters, analyst at Standard & Poor's, said that there are a number of inherent and unavoidable industry issues that could potentially dissuade banks from lending to the BB+/Ba2 credit. He added, however, that Stillwater has its own problems. "They're having production problems. There's a rail hauling system to take out waste that offers inadequate volume support," he said. "[Stillwater] has missed the eight-ball before, but they've seemed to turn a corner. "

  • 14 Jan 2001

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